Who Are We?
The Chorlton Players are a non-profit-making amateur theatre group based in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, in the UK.
Established in 1963, and formerly known as the St Werburghs Amateur Dramatic Society (SWADS), our performance base is at the Parish Hall, St Werburgh’s Church, St Werburgh’s Road, although due to the current popularity of the hall, we rehearse elsewhere leading up to the actual stage rehearsals on the week before the play. The society has been running for fifty years now, and has had its fair share of ups and downs. Thankfully we are on a solid footing these days, and we often undertake some more diverse productions. For example, a few of our members have made some short films starring members of the society. These can be found on our YouTube channel
We meet every Monday and Wednesday in the downstairs function room of the SPREAD EAGLE, Wilbraham Road, Chorlton between 8pm and 11pm, and we’d be glad to see anyone who fancies becoming a new member. We usually stop for a break around 9.30pm, where we can have a pint, a chat, and a chill. Please be aware that we always take a week or so off after a production before re-convening, so sometimes we won’t be there.. check the main page for when our productions are taking place. We have a £30 annual membership fee to cover hall and costume hire etc, although it is half price for unwaged people.
The Society Always Welcomes New Members!
We need dedicated backstage crew, and front-of-house volunteers, as well as budding actors, so if you have an interest in any part of the process of putting on the show, get in touch… it’s not all about acting, it’s about making friends and having a laugh!
Our current membership stands at about 40-50 members of both sexes ranging from our youngest at 18 years to our oldest who are retired, though our average age is in the 30’s, so we are quite a young, and often somewhat irreverant, group.
Unlike many groups, we do not hold auditions for membership, just the shows themselves, and we cast each show entirely on merit.. ie. how well you read for a part at the time. Being in the society for five years is NOT a pre-requisite to landing a lead role! It’s the best people for the job at the time. It is worth pointing out, however, that our number has grown considerably over the past few years, and as such, competition can be quite stiff! This applies to technical roles too. If you have any sound, lighting or stage management experience, jump onboard.
What Do We Do?
We currently stage five productions each year. Plays ranging from classics to comedies to the more unusual, and an annual Panto and a Hot Pot (a songs and sketches show with a theme).
Our season starts at the beginning of the year with our annual pantomime in January. A few of our pantos have been written by members of the society, and all the stops get pulled for this one. A cast of thousands, smoke, light effects, pyrotechnics, and any technical wizardry the back stage crew can muster. Songs, dance, men dressed as women, women dressed as men. Good clean honest fun.
After that, we stage a play at the end of March, followed by our “Hotpot” show at the beginning of June. (Hotpot shows are a collection of sketches, songs and variety, all tied together with a theme…)
Our summer play then takes place in late August, followed by another play in late October.
For our 2014 50th anniversary season, we have switched our sketch show and our summer play, so the sketch show will be in August!
All Work and No Play Then?
Not in the least. After every closing night, we have a party at a kind (or unfortunate!) volunteer’s house to unwind, drink copiously, dance about and be silly, and anyone who helped in the production in whatever capacity is invited. Aftershow parties are known for going right through the night! Add to that fundraisers, an annual Christmas party, birthdays, weddings, housewarmings, barbecues, Halloween, the fact that it is Saturday; any excuse for a few drinks and a laugh really. The social side plays a big part.
If you are interested, click HERE and drop us a message, or just turn up at one of our rehearsals, and introduce yourself… we don’t bite!
For directions to our rehearsal and performance venues, click here.